Youth Inmates Housed Alongside Adults, Fireball Visible in Alabama Sky

Dec 18, 2015

Alabama’s embattled Department of Corrections is now being criticized for housing youth inmates in adult facilities.

41 youth offenders are currently locked up alongside adult inmates at corrections facilities in Alabama. That’s according to a report released earlier this month by the Campaign for Youth Justice, a national advocacy organization.

Carmen Daugherty is the policy director for the Campaign for Youth Justice. She says housing youth inmates alongside adults contributes to those youths landing back in prison in the future.

“The reality is, 90% of these youths who are sentenced as adults return to the community before their 25th birthday. And we have to ask ourselves, ‘What have we done to help this young person to truly become rehabilitated in our community?’”

In addition to higher recidivism rates, Daugherty says youth inmates housed alongside adults report significantly more instances of sexual abuse, from staff and from other prisoners.

NASA officials say a fireball flew across Alabama skies last night.

Dozens of Alabamians took to social media to report that they saw a green, flashing light fly through the sky yesterday evening. NASA astronomer Bill Cooke says the light was a fireball, an extremely bright meteor. He says NASA is continuing to analyze the event.

Cooke says based on the object’s brightness, it's estimated the asteroid chunk weighed at least 150 pounds and was more than 16 inches in diameter.

NASA tracks fireballs and other meteoroid activity around the world from its Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville. Stationary cameras are scattered throughout the South to film meteor activity as it happens. Most fireballs are recorded and later released on video.

The waiting came to an end for Star Wars fans young and old in Alabama and elsewhere around the country. The movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” officially opened nationwide last night.

Fans lined up at Tuscaloosa’s Hollywood 16 Cobb Theater for last night’s premiere to see old characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia as well as new ones like Rey and Finn.

We spoke to Justin Wood just before showtime. He says he liked the franchise since he was five years old and was in line at 9 a.m. yesterday. He has high hopes for the new movie…

“I try to temper them because the prequels kind of disappointed me but the trailers made it look so good that my expectations are sky-high. Hopefully they’ll be met. I have faith. The Force is Strong with this movie, I feel like.”

The Force is indeed strong at the box office. Officials say “The Force Awakens” is expected to shatter sales records this weekend.